50 Fun Facts About Words

50 Fun Facts About WordsFor a happier, healthier and more successful life at any age, you must keep learning.

Why not learn these 50 fun facts about words . . .

  1. “The” is the most frequently used word in English.

  2. The most common vowel in English is “e”, followed by “a”.

  3. The book Gadsby, written by Ernest Vincent Wright, has 50,110 words in it, however none of them contain the letter “e”.

  4. The most common consonant in English is “r”, followed by “t”.

  5. More English words begin with the letter “s” than with any other letter.

  6. The word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and bēta.

  7. More countries use English as their official language than any other. French is second.

  8. The longest one-syllable word in English is “screeched.”

  9. The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want. (I’ll probably not be able to remember this word either.)

  10. China has more English speakers than the United States.

  11. The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in English.

  12. The name for Oz in the Wizard of Oz was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N and O-Z, hence “Oz.”

  13. The “sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.

  14. “Rhythm” and “syzygy” are the longest words without vowels.

  15. “Queueing” is the only word with five consecutive vowels.

  16. The longest one-syllable words are “screeched” and “strengths.”

  17. The word with the most consonants in a row is “latchstring.”

  18. A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, and Y are the symmetric capital letters. The symmetric lowercase letters are i, l, o, t, u, v, w, x.

  19. “Deeded” is the only word that is made using only two different letters, each used three times.

  20. There aren’t any words that rhyme with orange, purple, silver, or month.

  21. “W” is the only letter in the alphabet that does not have one syllable. It has three!

  22. The only words with three consecutive double letters are “bookkeeping” and “bookkeeper.”

  23. “Polish” changes from a noun or a verb to a nationality when it is capitalized.

  24. The term “fun facts” is searched on Google more than 3 million times a month, and the term “fun facts about words” is searched 1,000 times.

  25. If you spell out every number from 0 to 999, you will find every vowel except for “a”. You have to count to one thousand to find an “a”!

  26. ”Honorificabilitudinitatibus,” 27 letters long, is the longest English word consisting strictly of alternating consonants and vowels in alphabetical order. (Who figures this stuff out?)

  27. ”Spoonfeed,” nine letters long, is the longest word whose letters are arranged in reverse alphabetical order.

  28. The letter combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways which can be heard in this sentence: A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.

  29. Some words exist only in plural form, for example: glasses (spectacles), binoculars, scissors, shears, tongs, gallows, trousers, jeans, pants, pajamas.

  30. A word formed by joining together parts of existing words is called a “blend.” Many new words enter the English language in this way. Examples are “brunch” (breakfast + lunch); “motel” (motorcar + hotel); and “guesstimate” (guess + estimate).

  31. The word “uncopyrightable” is the longest English word in normal use that contains no letter more than once.

  32. A sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet is called a “pangram”. The following sentence contains all 26 letters of the alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence is often used to learn to type on a keyboard.

  33. The word “triskaidekaphobia” means “fear of Friday the 13th”. It also means “superstition about the number thirteen” in general.

  34. Only two English words in current use end in “-gry”. They are “angry” and “hungry”.

  35. “Rhythms” is the longest English word without vowels.

  36. The highest scoring word in the game Scrabble is “quartzy”

  37. The longest word in English is 1909 letters long and it refers to a distinct part of DNA.

  38. There are only four words in the English language which end in “- dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

  39. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called “aglets.”

  40. Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first U.S. president whose name contains all the letters of the word “criminal.”

  41. The symbol on the pound/hash/number key (#) is called an octothorpe.

  42. The dot over the letters ‘i’ and “j” is called a tittle (or, alternatively, a superscript dot).

  43. There is a seven-letter word in English that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters. “Therein” contains “the,” “there,” “he,” “in,” “rein,” “her,” “here,” “ere,” “therein” and “herein.”

  44. “Facetious” and “abstemious” contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning “containing arsenic.”

  45. The most popular first name in the world is “Muhammad.”

  46. ”Skepticisms” is the longest word that alternates hands when typing.

  47. “Stewardesses” and “reverberated” are the longest words that can be typed using only the left hand.

  48. “Lollipop” is the longest word that can be typed using only the right hand.

  49. The world’s largest alphabet is Cambodian, which has 74 letters.

  50. A “palindrome” is a word, such as “racecar” or “kayak,” that reads the same backward as forward. My sister, Anna, told me that. Or was it my brother Bob? Maybe cousin Lil?

Care to add your own fun facts about words in the comments section?

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